Now last week we talked about three reasons to host your own High Point After Party – giving clients exclusive access to top secret info, offering them educational and enrichment experiences, and getting more business by offering room refresh services. So, what’s the last and final reason why you should host a High Point After Party, you ask?
Why should you invest even more time and energy into your High Point experience, when simply going demands so much of that already? Well, because you can use it as a fantastic opportunity to show your clients that you know what’s new, what’s cutting edge, and what’s the best of the best for right now.
Anytime we’re working with a professional, we naturally want to know and make sure that the info that they’re sharing with us, is fully up to date. When you’re working with a doctor, you want to know that they’re on the cutting edge of medicine, aware of what’s new, what’s available, and what life saving techniques might be an option that weren’t a few years ago (or what practices and research are now out of date and may have actually been found to be dangerous).
With an accountant, we need to know that they’re continually aware of any change in tax laws, new forms that may need to be filed, or any new actions that need to be taken in order to avoid penalties or charges.
Working with “I already know what I need to know” types of professionals in fields like these, could literally be a matter of life or death or a huge financial setback. Both of which obviously need to be desperately avoided. And although working with a designer who keeps their head in the sand won’t have such dire consequences, there are absolutely still great reasons to work with someone who does not.
Your Education Saves Your Clients
Let’s review just a few possibilities. By keeping yourself continually educated, you can keep your clients from spending thousands on fabric stain technology that you know is no longer the best. Or, from investing in pieces that are actually outdated in their design but still available for purchase. Or, by sharing that they can now purchase items that are environmentally friendly and have low toxins or are hypoallergenic – new paints, new procedures, etc. that may be on the market now but weren’t two years ago.
Hosting these types of enrichment events for clients let’s them know they won’t be suffering a completely unnecessary but unfortunate fate, as you’re consistently working to find out what the best options are for them on the market. You’re telling them without telling them, “I’m a serious professional. I’m continually dedicated to bringing you the only the best of what’s out there and work hard to educate myself. And that means, I have even more to offer you.”
Clients don’t want to work with a designer that’s just “resting on their laurels,” and certainly not one whose just doling out the exact same designs they were 10 or 20 years ago. They want a designer whose well aware of where things are going in the world of design, and what the best available options are to them and their family. Hosting a High Point after party will be your way of doing that.
What Do You Showcase?
Now, what in the world do you do at your event? What do you show, what do you tell? Well, you focus on showcasing what’s new, what’s trending, and what’s available. You give your clients an idea of what it was like to be there. You allow them to benefit from the fact that you were, even though they weren’t. Here’s some ways you can do that.
Create an edited video of shorter clips showing the options at your favorite showrooms, and conversations you have with vendors about what’s newly available. Go over the top trends that you saw. Let them know how they can incorporate these trends into their home and how it might make their life not only more beautiful, but also easier. Let them see and touch any samples or memos that you collect.
Basically, you want to get them excited and enthusiastic about what’s happening in the design world, and let them know how it’s going to benefit them. Whether it’s new technology that keeps white furniture immaculately clean no matter what mess it meets, or what “smart” technology is becoming available that will make their most hated daily routines a snap, make this about them and how they can benefit.
Just be sure to really edit down what you saw. You don’t want to overwhelm them with tech information or make it into a boring presentation. Give them just enough to pique their interest, and get them thinking about working with you again. Between 30 minutes and an hour is just right. After that it’s time to let people have a bit of food and drink, a time to ponder and speak with their spouse, more opportunities to touch and feel anything you brought back, and then to head on over your way to set up an appointment or ask some more questions.
Keeping In Touch with Clients is Just Good Business
Keeping in touch with your past clients through simple reach outs and events like these is paramount to your success. You don’t want to think of projects and people as “one and done,” but instead as only the beginning. Maybe your first project with them is small, but after they see how everything went, they’re ready for more a year later, and this time the project is three times the size. Then they tell their friends who call you up for a nice sized project as well. Then they tell their neighbors. But only if you make the effort to keep in touch.
If you let too much time pass with zero contact, clients may literally just start over with another designer for their next project. They haven’t heard from you in awhile, so they may think you’re no longer in business, have no interest in working with them again, or are maybe just too busy. So, they move on.
What a waste of time, for everyone. It doesn’t need to be, and shouldn’t be, this way, however. Instead you want to make keeping in touch a high priority in your calendar. But rather than continually going back and saying, “Hey, you ready to design that living room now?” or “Hey, do you know anyone else who needs design services?” Instead, make reaching out about them.
You want to connect with them regularly on a personal level first, and then sprinkle in education and enrichment opportunities like these second. You want to show them that you’re there for them, not just there for you and your profitability.
Set Yourself Apart by Offering Your Clients More
So the next time you go to High Point, plan on hosting a High Point After Party upon your return. You’ll not only have clients realizing just why you do the things you do, and why they should only be working with you, but also give you a great focus while you’re at High Point.
You’ll go in knowing exactly who your clientele is, what they’re interested in, and what they’ll want to see at your event. That way you can seek it out, look for it, and make it your mission to come back with the according info. Instead of just aimlessly meandering into showroom, after showroom, after showroom… with no clear goal or purpose.
Tell the vendors what you’re doing, and if they’d be able to help. No doubt they’ll be eager to assist you in any way that they can, as this type of event brings them business as well. Heck who knows, maybe they’ll even agree to sponsor or partner with you on this event in some way.
This is your time to shine. It’s your time to set yourself apart by offering your clients more. Its your time to show them, “What we offer here is truly unique and a huge benefit to you. You just won’t find this anywhere else.” And they won’t. So go and get it.
Write in the comments below, what do you think of hosting an event like this? I’d love to hear!
And if you’d love even more ideas on how to continually connect with your past and current clients to get more business, check out “The Art of Pampering” here!